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Why You Should Combine The Summer Of Sport With A Spontaneous Holiday

By By Robert Bright, commercial travel writer

If you’re a dedicated football supporter who’s invested most of your time and energy following this summer’s drama, you don’t need to be told how stressful and exhausting it can all get. One minute you’re up, surfing a wave of euphoria, and the next you’re crashing out, dazed and disappointed, wondering what on earth to do with yourself for the rest of the summer.

So let us help you out. Now is the perfect time to get away from all the hurt by taking advantage of some fantastic last-minute deals on a holiday. Feel all that tension melt away by relaxing on a Mediterranean beach, or floating in the pool of a luxury resort, or being pampered at the spa – and being sure to get a manicure to repair those bitten nails.

Plus don’t forget, there is still a massive sporting competition going on and a chance to watch some unbelievable matches – just from a sunnier clime!

All Rhodes lead to…

Ahhh, the Greek islands. Sparkling azure waters, beautiful whitewash villages and a sky so blue it hurts just to look at it.

Right now there are some great deals on resorts in Rhodes, including the new and pristine Atlantica Rhodes Resort on the southeast of the island. It opened its doors for the first time this year, and its landscaped pools and Scandinavian-inspired rooms make it something of a design marvel.

There’s a Blue Flag shingle beach right outside the property, and it’s also an easy half-hour’s drive from historic Lindos, with its famous Acropolis.

Other great resorts include the TUI Sensimar in Lindos Bay, ideal if you’re a couple who want to avoid families with kids, or the small and friendly self-catering Pefki Islands Resort (meals are extra) in Pefkos, situated right next to a beautiful sandy beach.

Fortunately, Greece isn’t short on islands (it has around 6,000 in all!) so if Rhodes isn’t for you, why not try somewhere else? The Blue Lagoon Resort on the northeast of Kos, for example, is all about the pools, including a mini waterpark perfect for kids, and an adults-only pool too.

Sing like the Canaries

You might find yourself without a home team to get behind, but you won’t be the only ones. The Canary Islands might not have much to sing about when it comes to Spanish sporting fortunes this summer, but islands like Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura provide solace and make for great getaways at short notice.

Tenerife’s beach scene is justly famous, with Playa de las Americas being the headline act. Surfers can head to the Playa Jardin, while the rocky cliff formations of Los Gigantes are a spectacular reminder that The Canaries are volcanic islands.

The TUI Sensatori Resort in Tenerife is a proper luxury escape, with an infinity pool, great restaurants and lavish good looks, but there are great last-minute deals to be had at places like the Sheraton Salobre Gold Resort on Gran Canaria, Los Zocos Clube Resort on Lanzarote, and the intimate Bahiazul Villas and Club on Fuerteventura.

Adriatic gem

If you want to try somewhere a tad less established, although becoming ever more popular, think Croatia. Who knows, you might find sporting celebrations in full swing if you head off in the next couple of weeks and there are still loads of options, be it a beach holiday or something more active. Whether you’re heading to the Istrian Peninsula, the Dalmatian coast, or beautiful islands like Brač, Korčula and Vis, there are loads of opportunities over the next couple of months to find somewhere memorable to stay.

If you’re taking the kids, the Family Life Bellevue Resort in Rabac, on the Istrian Riviera, is ideal. Nestled into the side of a forested hill sloping down to the white pebble beach, it comes with pools for the kids and load of activities like football, basketball, beach volleyball and diving. Perfect for those who’d rather participate in sport than watch it.

Turkey hunt

The football mad Turks might be disappointed to sit-out the action this summer, but they can take solace in the beauty of places like Izmir, Bodrum, Dalaman and Antalya – as can you.

Take the Dalaman Area for instance. Blue Flag beaches along the Turquoise Coast, historical sights like the Roman city of Ephesus, and the exotic and colourful bazaar in Marmaris. Barut Fethiye is ideal to both relax and explore, with pools, restaurants and children’s facilities.

Bodrum is among the most popular spots for a Turkish vacation, and it’s easy to see why, what with its golden shoreline sweeping along the Aegean Sea, lots of luxury and family-friendly resorts and excursions to historic towns like Ephesus and Didyma. There are some great deals around right now – check out the Bodrum Imperial and the Palm Wings Beach Resort for starters.

Jamaican sunsets

If you’re looking to leave those shattered dreams far behind and get out of Europe altogether, where better to improve the vibe than the Caribbean island of Jamaica? You might think such a destination requires booking well in advance but not so.

Jamaica has an embarrassment of picture postcard beaches, whether it’s at Seven Mile Beach in Negril, or further along the north coast at Lucea, Montego Bay, Trelawny, Runaway Bay or Ocho Rios.

Try some windsurfing, go snorkelling amid the coral reefs or simply enjoy a spot of jerk chicken and a rum cocktail at one of the many beach bars. There are loads of hotels to choose from and the rates are very competitive right now. To whet your appetite, take a look at Rui Montego Bay, the Grand Palladium in Lucea and ClubHotel Rui in Ocho Rios.

All hotels featured in this article can be booked with TUI. Book your last minute holiday today!

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